August 15, 2021
One of the park’s signature events is back! Enjoy a French open-air market by Bensidoun. For refreshments, there will be special French treats in Bertie’s Bistro as well as a beer and wine tent. Make sure to stop by the 23 foot Eiffel Tower for the perfect photo op! Event entry is free with $10 parking.
Why We Have A French Connection Day
French Connection Day was established to help our visitors understand the connection we have to France and how we got our name. The French theme commemorates an important chapter in the life of Robert R. McCormick, Cantigny's benefactor. In 1918, at age 37, Colonel McCormick commanded an artillery unit in the Battle of Cantigny in France as a member of the U.S. Army's First Division. It was America's first significant victory in World War I and the battle had a major impact on the Colonel. Upon returning to Wheaton, he renamded his estate after the tiny village in France that he and his fellow soliders liberated from German occupation.
In his will, McCormick established Cantigny “as a public park and museum for the recreation, instruction and welfare of the people of the State of Illinois.” The 500-acre estate was his gift to the community and this event our gift to his legacy.